Unintentional dry humor from CBO; don’t make a Denali out of a molehill, though

June 21, 2013

A mountain by any other name would be just as high. Image of Denali from Tiny Green Cabins

A mountain by any other name would be just as high. Image of Denali from Tiny Green Cabins

I get e-mail from the Congressional Budget Office.  I asked them to keep me posted on the studies they do, and they have.

Today, this:

S. 155, a Bill to Designate a Mountain in the State of Alaska as Denali

cost estimate

June 21, 2013
read complete document  (pdf, 27 kb)

As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 18, 2013.

CBO estimates that enacting this legislation to name a peak in Alaska would have no significant impact on the federal budget and would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. S. 155 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

Calling a mountain by its name won’t affect the budget?  Good news, I’m sure.  Shakespeare was right.

The testimony of National Park Service Deputy Director Peggy O’Dell is instructive:

STATEMENT OF PEGGY O’DELL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE, CONCERNING S. 155, TO DESIGNATE A MOUNTAIN IN THE STATE OF ALASKA AS DENALI.

April 23, 2013

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 155, a bill to designate a mountain in the State of Alaska as Denali.

The National Park Service appreciates the long history and public interest for both the name Mount McKinley and the traditional Athabascan name, Denali. The Department respects the choice made by this legislation, and does not object to S. 155.

Located in what is now Denali National Park and Preserve, the highest peak in North America has been known by many names. The National Park Service’s administrative history of the park notes that, “The Koyukon called it Deenaalee, the Lower Tanana named it Deenaadheet or Deennadhee, the Dena’ina called it Dghelay Ka’a, and at least six other Native groups had their own names for it.

“In the late 18th century various Europeans came calling, and virtually everyone who passed by was moved to comment on it. The Russians called it Bulshaia or Tenada, and though explorers from other nations were less specific, even the most hard-bitten adventurers were in awe of its height and majesty.

“No American gave it a name until Densmore’s Mountain appeared in the late 1880s, and the name that eventually stuck—Mount McKinley—was not applied until the waning days of the nineteenth century,” a gesture of support to then-President William McKinley.

In 1975, the State of Alaska officially recognized Denali as the name of the peak, and requested action by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to do the same.

In 1980, Congress changed the name of Mount McKinley National Park to Denali National Park and Preserve (P.L. 96-487, Section 202), but did not act on the name change for the mountain.

In Washington, Congress designates mountains.  In Alaska, mountains designate you.

More:

Mount McKinley

Near-antique poster advertising Ranger Services at the National Park Formerly Known as Mount McKinley. Photo by Kirt Baab


Holes in the wall, Glen Canyon NRA

June 11, 2013

Ever get one of those days you just want to find a nice, warm hole and crawl inside?

Then head out to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area:

There are many unique areas within America’s public lands. Case in point this spot in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  Photo: Cassandra Crowley

Caption from America’s Great Outdoors: There are many unique areas within America’s public lands. Case in point this spot in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Photo: Cassandra Crowley

More:


Sounds of the Yellowstone in winter will haunt you, lovingly

February 14, 2013

This is a heckuva research project: What is the sound ecosystem of the Yellowstone?

Film from Yellowstone National Park:

The film was produced by Emily Narrow for NPS, with financial assistance from the Yellowstone Association.

From NPS:

Published on Jul 13, 2012

Many people come to Yellowstone to see the fantastic landscapes. Wise visitors also come to experience the amazing soundscapes. This video provides some insight into the value of natural sounds in wild places and how the park is monitoring those sounds as well as the sounds created by humans.

Nothing matches the sound of a western river, to my mind.  I love the sound of the tumbling waters, and it was on one of those roaring creeks that we scattered the ashes of my Yellowstone-loving oldest brother Jerry Jones.

Poster for Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/...

Classic, vintage poster for Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other sounds will captivate you.  The rush and gush of the geysers, and the gurgle and plop of heated pools rivets you for a while.  Once you hear the chuff of an interested grizzly bear, you don’t forget it.  And while it can be scary if you’re relatively alone on the trail, the howl of the wolf tells you about the wilderness in a way no other sound ever can.  The honks of the geese, the trumpets of the swans, the grunts of the bison, the scolding of the many different squirrels and chipmunks, the slap of a trout jumping out of the river — these are all worth making the trip.

After you go, these sounds will lovingly haunt your life.  You’ll smile when you remember them.

I hope you can go soon.  (I hope I can go, soon.)

Sad note:  Only 1,553 people have watched this video since last July.  Can you spread the word a bit?

More:


Mount Ranier by Milky Way light

January 28, 2013

Stunning photograph posted by National Park Service people in Mount Ranier National Park:

Mount Ranier by Milky Way light -- Dave Morrow photo, October 2012

Photographer Dave Morrow photograph of Mount Ranier and the Milky Way, from October 2012

Information from the Mount Ranier NPS site at Instagram:

Some images are just plain extraordinary — and often, the photographer has invested a great deal of time and effort to make that image happen. Photographer Dave Morrow describes the process of among this image from Mount Rainier National Park in October 2012. “I went up to Sunrise Point at Mt. Rainier last weekend with my buddy Keith. After a lame sunset, we waited for the Milky Way to come out. The placement was just perfect and the sky was pitch black!  Time to jack up the ISO and shoot some stars . . . this was one of many from the night.”

See more of Mr. Morrow’s work, here:  DaveMorrowPhotography.com

Difficult to know whether the streaks are airplanes or meteoroids.  No doubt it was a long exposure.

(Links added here.)

More:


In 90 seconds, National Parks stuff you should see in Washington, D.C.

January 27, 2013

National Park Service video, and of course, featuring some stunning time-lapse photography.

696

 


Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: Wright Bros. National Memorial

December 17, 2012

Kill Devil Hills monument to theWright Brothers

Wikipedia description: Standing sixty feet (18.3 meters) tall and perched atop a ninety foot (27.4 meters) stabilized sand dune known as Kill Devil Hill, this monument towers over Wright Brothers National Memorial Park in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The park commemorates and preserves the site where the Wright brothers launched the world’s first successful sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine. The inscription that wraps around the base of the monument states “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.” Photo by Ken Thomas, taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 in Dare County, NC, USA.

At this site, on December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright first achieved flight in a heavier-than-air machine.

 


Teacher and student resources for Hispanic Heritage Month, from the cultural agencies of the federal government

September 16, 2012

Resources listed at the Hispanic Heritage Month site:

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month 2012

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

Read More »

Children of the Plumed Serpent: the Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico

 Pectoral with Calendrical Notations (AD 700–1300), Children of the Plumed Serpent exhibit


Unknown, Pectoral with Calendrical Notations (AD 700–1300), gold, 4 ½ x 1/16 in (11.5 x 2 cm), 3.93 ounces (112 grams), Museuo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. Photo © Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (CONACULTA-INAH-MEX), from the exhibition Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.
Courtesy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. http://www.lacma.org

The culture-hero and deity, Quetzalcoatl was believed to be the human incarnation of the spiritual forces of wind and rain. Quetzalcoatl was typically portrayed in art as a plumed serpent. This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More about the exhibition »

Department of Interior’s American Latino Heritage Initiative

Department of Interior's American Latino Heritage InitiativeNumerous projects are being undertaken to increase the opportunities for historic places associated with American Latino history to be documented, preserved, and interpreted and for the public to better understand and appreciate the role of American Latinos in the development of the United States.

Status of current projects »

U.S. National Archives on Flickr

Eloy District, Pinal County, Arizona. Mexican irrigator. He came from Mexico 12 years ago...11/1940 - Library of Congress image

Sample of works available at the Flickr site:  Original Caption:  “Eloy District, Pinal County, Arizona. Mexican irrigator. He came from Mexico 12 years ago, works the year round on this large-scale farm. These fields are being prepared for flax; have never had a crop before.”
U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 83-G-44021
From:: Photographic Prints Documenting Programs and Activities of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Predecessor Agencies, compiled ca. 1922 – ca. 1947, documenting the period ca. 1911 – ca. 1947
Created By:: Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Agricultural Economics. Division of Economic Information. (ca. 1922 – ca. 1953)
Production Date: 11/1940

Photos from the U.S. National Archives that relate to Hispanic Heritage on the photosharing site Flickr.

View the Images

Hispanic American Veterans

Staff Sgt. Ernesto E. Gallego, Gulfport, MS; World War II Veteran - Stories from the Veterans Project, Library of Congress image

Portrait of World War II veteran, Staff Sgt. Ernesto E. Gallego in bomber jacket, inscribed “To the sweetest girl I know…Ernest.” Gulfport, Mississippi; Stories from the Veterans Project, Library of Congress

Asked to serve their country in time of war, Hispanic Americans displayed courage and valor in the face of adversity. Familiar with discrimination back home, many saw their service as affirming the ideals of democracy. In this presentation, the Veterans History Project recounts their inspirational stories.

Read More about Hispanic American Veterans »

Teaching Hispanic Heritage

paintingPut the power of primary sources to work in the classroom. Browse lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids from:

The Library of Congress

National Archives Experience — DocsTeach

National Archives — Teacher’s Resources

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Gallery of Art

National Park Service

Smithsonian Institution


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,332 other followers

%d bloggers like this: